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David Schildknecht from Wine Advocate (R. Parker): 90 pnt
From young vines in the Piesporter Grafenberg, the Haart 2011 Piesporter Riesling Rotschiefer feinherb fermented slowly in cask and stopped at 18 grams of residual sugar, which despite a background of low acidity does not result in any overt sense of sweetness. Very ripe grapefruit and orange with caramelized parsnip inform a sappy palate leading to a long, clear, juicy and lip-smackingly persistent finish tinged with citrus zest, pungent herbs, and wood smoke, a combination I associate particularly with Rieslings from red slate sites. This striking success – and, intriguingly, one that seems more distinctive of its site than most of the vineyard-designated wines in the present collection – should prove extremely versatile at table through at least 2017.
Drink Date: 2013 - 2017
Theo and Johannes Haart began picking already on September 27 – several days earlier than they had even in 2003. As warm as the weather was in late September, they explained, dropping acidity and the potential for early botrytis – especially in the more water-retentive top sites of Piesport, but also in Wintrich in the aftermath of hail – left them no choice but to start early. “At first we picked nothing but healthy berries,” relates Johannes Haart, “but after three or four days there was botrytis; and three days after that we already had Trockenbeerenauslese.” That said, harvest continued all the way through October in order to optimize the potential of individual sites. But two notable features of this collection – the first analytically verifiable; the second an observation on my part – are that, surprisingly, its wines’ unusually low levels of acidity did not significantly increase under the influence of greater botrytization, and also, their flavor profiles have a lot in common and site-specificity strikes me as significantly less evident than usual. Kabinetts were fermented in stainless steel with watchful cooling because the Haarts were convinced that given the chemistry of their musts and elevated ambient temperatures, fermentations would otherwise have galloped. They bottled most of their 2011 collection in July, a bit later than usual because they believed the young wines definitely gained (and continue to gain after bottling) from aeration. Two different lots of Ohligsberg Trockenbeerenauslese and one of Goldtropfchen were still fermenting when I visited to taste the rest of the Haart’s 2011 collection.